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Mexican Landscape

 Map of Mexico 

Mexico shares its northern border with the United States and its southern border with Guatemala and Belize. Baja California in the west is a 1,250 kilometer (775 mile) peninsula and forms the Gulf of California. In the east are the Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Campeche, which is formed by Mexico's other peninsula, the Yucatán.

Almost two-thirds of the country's terrain consists of mountains and highlands while deserts dominate the north and tropical rain forests are found in the south.

Mexico's major rivers include the Rίo Bravo del Norte (Rio Grande) and the Usumacinta on its northern and southern borders, respectively, together with the Grijalva, Balsas, Pánuco, and Yaqui in the interior.

About three times as large as Texas, it is shaped roughly like a wedge, widest in the north and tapering to the narrow Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the south. It is situated between 14o and 32o.

Mexico has extensive coastlines, covering 9,500 kilometers (5903 miles), yet most Mexicans do not live near the coast. There are three distinct regions found in Mexico: the highland areas, the great southern depression and the coastal slopes.

In Mexico, altitude usually determines temperature, which ranges from 15o to 49o Celsius (59o to 120.2o Farhenheit). Mexico’s tropical latitude reduces seasonal changes in temperature. There are really only two seasons, the dry season from November until the end of March and the rainy season from April until October. (Note: In Lake Chapala our dry season is about eight months – from October to May and we don’t receive as much rain as the coastal areas.)

One-half of the population lives in an area one-tenth the size of Mexico. The capital, Mexico City, at an altitude of more than 2300 meters (7545.93 feet), enjoys a pleasant temperate climate, however can get down to freezing temperatures in December and January. It is the largest city in the world with a population of 23 million. It is considered the cultural centre of the country. (Another popular area frequented by North Americans, nearby San Miguel de Allende also experiences cold winters with temperatures down to freezing.)

The mineral resources of Mexico are extremely rich and varied. Mexico is famous for its silver which is found in nearly all its states. Mexico also produces petroleum.

 El Universal Online reports:
"Three years of exploration has enabled Pemex to map oilfields that the state-owned oil monopoly believes will more than double the nation's known crude oil reserves.

Luis Ramírez Corzo, Pemex's director for exploration, told EL UNIVERSAL that on a "conservative" estimate, almost 54 billion barrels lie underneath the oilfields. That would take Mexico's reserves to 102 billion barrels, more than the United Arab Emirates (which has reserves of 97.8 billion barrels), Kuwait (94 billion) and Iran (89.7 billion), and almost as much as Iraq (112.5 billion).

The official also said the discovery could enable Pemex to increase Mexico's oil production from the current level of 4 million barrels per day (bpd) to 7 million bpd."

The importance of this find cannot be over-estimated; This report would place Mexico on par with the current capacity of Saudi Arabia and Russia. Current estimates of the total cache amount to 54 billion barrels, which would place it above the UAE and Kuwait, Iran, and nearly more than Iraq.

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On your Journey of Discovery to retire in this land of enchantment, we cover topics that will be important to you…immigration, health options available in Mexico, legal and financial topics, and information that will guide you through the decision-making process of buying or renting a house, options for moving, bringing your pets, and a myriad of other details that we have collected during Focus on Mexico’s 15 years of experience guiding our participants through the Lake Chapala area.

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